Join us this Thursday for a lively debate on media coverage of humanitarian crises: why do some get more attention than others? Is it justified that Western media focus so intensely on the crisis in Ukraine because it is at Europe's borders? Or is it an example of bias or, worse yet, racism?
The crisis in Ukraine is dominating Western media coverage. The conflict has rightly garnered the world’s attention, but it has also made blatantly clear how little attention humanitarian crises in other parts of the world receive in comparison. Why does this happen? What does it tell us about our inherent biases? How does media coverage of crises affect levels of aid and ultimately the lives of the people on the ground? Is there a moral case for giving all crises equal attention?
As the world tries to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a seemingly endless list of existing and forgotten crises around the world. How do media outlets decide which crises to cover and which will remain forgotten?
- Anealla Safdar, Europe Editor, Al Jazeera, who is handling the international news network’s online coverage of the war in Ukraine at aljazeera.com.
- Patrick Gathara, media critic and award-winning political cartoonist based in Nairobi, who recently wrote an Op-Ed on the racism and hypocrisy of the media and broader international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Hugo Slim, humanitarian ethicist and senior research fellow at the University of Oxford, who argues that the West’s focus on Ukraine is perfectly justified.
- Mel Bunce, Head of the Journalism Department at City, University of London, who recently conducted research on how coverage of humanitarian crises affects aid funding.
- Mustafa Alio, Managing Director, Refugees Seeking Equal Access at the Table (R-SEAT), which recently called for all refugees fleeing Ukraine, including Africans and Afghans, to be treated equally.
- Heba Aly (moderator), CEO, The New Humanitarian, whose reporting specifically focuses on forgotten crises.
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